Fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael yma
It’s been a tough old winter, hasn’t it? While crisp wintery mornings do have their appeal, it would be fair to say that most of us are by now looking forward to seeing the warmer spring come, awaking nature and lifting our spirits.
When we think about spring, there is so much to see, to smell, to feel. So much happens in our natural world, which in the grand scheme of things quite literally ’makes the world go round’ - and so much of it will happen right on our doorsteps. Here are a few things for you to keep an eye out for in the next few months.
Let’s begin with an obvious one – birdsong. The dawn chorus is a clear sign of the breeding season in full flow, as many of our birds get singing in aim of attracting a mate. As the name suggests, the dawn chorus begins at first light, and another term, ‘early bird gets the worm’, is relevant here. In a competitive arena, the male will try to get the females attention as early in the day as possible. As the morning rolls on, more and more voices will join, making a chorus of joyful birdsong. Similarly, you will find that dawn choruses will get louder and louder as we go through the spring - building up in a crescendo to the climax around May.
The colour that comes with the vast variety of flowers is simply stunning – from the daffodils (a favourite here in Wales!), to the daisies in the field; from the poppies in the meadows to the buttercups gracing our lawns – this bright bloom is beautiful. And not only do we get pleasure from the colour of these flowers, but also from how they help our pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. It doesn’t matter where in Wales you live, be that a rural or urban area – you can help pollinators by planting your own wildflower, and not cutting the grass for a few months. By sowing some seeds and letting things get a bit wild, you can do your bit for nature with minimal effort – and enjoy the colourful outcome!
There aren’t many scenes more spring-like than seeing bumblebees (along with drone-flies and bee-flies of course) bouncing from one flower to the next. Ever thought about going into hospitality? You can look after our pollinators by making your very own ‘bee and bee’.
The graceful fluttering of butterflies is also something we can look forward to in springtime. Dancing around our flowers and plants (and some vegetables, to the annoyance of growers!), pollinating butterflies also contribute greatly to our ecosystems. There are many variants in Wales, about 42, and different types will be found in different places – go and explore different habitats to see how many you can see over the dry months.
Seeing birds going to a fro, from searching for nesting sites to collecting nesting materials, is a fascinating watch. But while we should always respect nature by giving it its due distance, there’s no harm in giving our feathered friends a little helping hand in the nesting process by leaving out suitable materials. Natural fibres, such as cotton, wool, hemp or flax, are perfect. Some birds, such as starlings, prefer leaves so make sure you put your garden scraps to use. Please don’t put out animal hairs - or your own hair for that matter - as there can be chemicals which may be harmful to birds.
The above are just a handful of things to watch out for - and in this season of true wonder, there are so many more. Click here for more top tips and inspiration about how you can help nature on your doorstep.
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